Monthly Archives: September 2011

Gay New York

Dear Mister Bidgood by

In a brand new semi-regular feature on KTLO, we have asked our most brilliant of friends, the photographer and filmmaker James Bidgood (Pink Narcissus), who is not only an outstanding artist, but a wit and raconteur with more wisdom and experience than anyone we know, to respond to reader’s problems. From small questions of etiquette to weighty life-changing queries, Mr. Bidgood will attempt to offer guidance and “Dear Abbey” realness in the way only he can.

Dear Mister Bidgood,
I’m 24 and have been having sex with dudes and only dudes since I was 20. I’ve had sex with 17 people, and my longest relationship was 3 weeks. This leads to my question. I have only ejaculated with someone else when jacking myself off.  It’s usually the old vanilla in-and-out or sucking around. (I’ve been a top and bottom, but mostly bottom). What should I do so I can “come baby come” like in that Kool-Aid commercial? Sincerely, Jonathan More…

Art & Autobiography

Hulu Alternatives: Christopher Isherwood On Day At Night by

Day at Night was a public access television program hosted by James Day which ran throughout the 1970′s. In this episode, author Christopher Isherwood (The Berlin Stories, A Single Man, Down There On A Visit) discusses his life and work on the occasion of the publishing of his autobiographical novel about his parents, Kathleen and Frank in 1972.

Production Diary

Day 103: The Way We Were by

thure and zach

It’s two weeks since we wrapped post and I can’t say I’ve caught up yet. It’s harder than I remember to re-enter everyday life. But no complaint. I’m now in the editing room every afternoon with Fonzie (Affonso Goncalves), my dear friend and brilliant editor. We are working on our fourth feature together, and it’s like going home and, even more so, to be back at Post Factory. The last few years I felt almost too comfortable with the idea that I was a filmmaker, but maybe I didn’t make films. For some reason, the elevator doors opening on the 11th floor of the Post Factory building and walking out and to my cutting room, it feels like a different life than the one I’ve been living, which has been as much about teaching and running a film series and being in the world in some sort of Emeritus way. I’m reminding myself that I’m too young to be that old yet. More…

Art & Autobiography

Weekend Reading: Director Andrew Haigh on Writing for An Imaginary Audience by


By now you’ve probably heard so much about director Andrew Haigh’s wonderful new gay romantic drama Weekend that you may wonder if the film is really as good as the hype. Happily, as those of us lucky enough to see it before it was released in theaters today know, it is. Haigh is also as charming and easy to talk to as his film is to watch. After a grueling week of interviews and press, I met up with Haigh to talk about how his own sex diary inspired his new film, and his somewhat ambivalent feelings about his success on the eve of his film’s release. Note: There are a few plot points in the conversation that follows that you may not want spoiled. So see the film tonight and then come back and read the interview – yes, you guessed it – this weekend.

Adam: Chris’ character in the film is a character who is an artist and who’s making this kind of diary-like tape recordings of his experiences, cataloguing his experiences with his lovers and I’m wondering if you have any of your own sort of similar journaling thing like he does?
Andrew: I did what Russell did. I had a list that I kept password protected on my computer. I definitely used to come back straight after it happened and write a piece, like Russell does, about that person. It’s crazy when I look back at them now and read the kind of things that I said. They’re always quite sexual and I would just describe who the person was, and what happened. It was weird. It was like I would write it for someone else, even though I had no intention of ever showing that to someone. I came out quite late so it was probably a way for me just to deal with suddenly being out and sleeping with people. I suppose that list inspired elements of the film because I did look back at it before I started writing the script. Although the people on that list aren’t in the film.

Your autobiographical filmmaking -
Doesn’t go that far! More…

Avery Willard

The Sirens by

Untitled portrait by Avery Willard

In our last posting on Avery Willard, we spoke with the legendary drag performer Adrian about his friendship with Willard. This week, we turn to Amanda Hammett, one of the members of the hard-working team helping to put together In Search of Avery Willard. In the following post, Amanda gives us a little more background on Willard’s talents as a photographer and how he was seen by the photography community at the time. She also shares four astonishing shots of female impersonators from Willard’s never-before-seen collection. Here’s Amanda…

We were overwhelmed when we attempted to highlight Avery’s photographic work. The New York Public Library has ten boxes of his photos. As we started to examine the work, we noticed that Avery’s reputation as a master of the portrait was well earned – and he earned his income from it – most notably for stars on Broadway. But he didn’t stop there, moving from actors to friends, ad models to female impersonators to animals.

In one of our interviews for the documentary, photographer John Cox, who was Avery’s friend and collaborator, reflected on Avery’s work: More…

Tell Your Story

Is This Really Happening? by

I’d just turned 15 over the summer and already the horrid institution they called high school was getting ready for their homecoming pretty soon. With no interest in any of those childish matters, I made plans for my own “event.” Around that time, the weather was cooling down and walking to school was quite an easy task either on foot or by the metro bus line. The daily routine bored me, especially with my class work done weeks ahead of time. I’d spend my time in classes either keeping to myself and reading or giving answers to kids around my desk.

So finally everything was set into motion and the weekend was coming up. My parents had informed me that they were leaving out of town for an Amway convention or some business matter they needed to attend to. They traveled often and most times would leave me at home alone. Though they bought my siblings their first cars when they were around the same age, mother’s baby boy just didn’t seem to need one so soon. Mostly because I was the youngest and I presume she was just being overprotective, which really made no sense because they worked so much, I hardly saw them anyway. More…

Gay New York

Behind the Scenes with the Bloolips by

The Bloolips were a popular drag performance group from England which took their cues from other drag-focused performance groups like Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company and the Hot Peaches. The group’s founder, the brilliant Bette Bourne performed with Hot Peaches on their European tour and then went back to England to form Bloolips. When the group arrived in New York in 1993 to present their show Get Hur, filmmaker Michael Kasino documented their performance and back-stage musings in this quietly thrilling video.

Production Diary

Day 92: The Last Day by

Zachary Booth and Thure Lindhardt on Set. Photo by Jean Christophe-Husson

The last day of shooting. We’ve been in my apartment for three days in a row, and people keep asking me if it’s strange to shoot here, or annoying. Neither. It doesn’t really affect me much, though I’ve been happy with how the scenes can be choreographed in the space. Thimios and I watched the central, geniusly designed—and still very emotional—apartment scene in Contempt, though not closely, but it gave us some ideas. Placing the camera in central spots and following, letting the actors lead us through the spaces. Sometimes it makes for long shots, that might or might not work, but there are interesting moments. How do you reveal time passing in an apartment? This was always something production designer Amy Williams and I talked about—we are only telling time passing through clothes and production design and emotions—and now we are shooting a scene after a break-up. How many boxes, how many pictures come down? I found that the set dressing needed to go past the reality, maybe, in order to say something. More…

Gay New York

Man in the Streets by

Didier Lestrade, Self-Portrait

I have always been amazed at the way old clichés about famous towns linger, like the Paris that you see in the latest Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris, a 1920-ish city of light that never looked that shiny and stupid. Paris is still used for that nostalgia effect, distorted by the bougie state of mind of Woody Allen, a man who can’t seem to direct a flick that doesn’t belong to the blasé rich of the Upper East Side.

My vision of New York is of July 1987 when I fell in love with the man of my life during a heat wave. It was around the same time that house music was having it’s most sincere moment. I was religiously taping Marley Marl’s WBLS mixes. I still own the cherished tapes and they still sound damn good today. When you’re a 29-year-old Frenchman and you discover—and dance—at Better Days, Escualitas, The Saint and the Paradise Garage in one whopper of a night, you fall in love with the guy who got you there, who’s grinning and saying, at the end of the night, “I told you so, honey.” Jim Dolinsky (R.I.P.) was very white but all I was listening in New York in 1987 was either black or latin music. East 4th Street between B & C was the most beautiful place in the world for me and I will never forget the strange chemical smell in the hallway, something that got quickly Pavlovian, as I knew there was pleasure and happiness right behind that door. More…

News & UpdatesThe Movie

And Then He Licked My Face: The Eastern Bloc Shoot by

On Wednesday, July 27th, scores of hot young guys filed into Eastern Bloc, the popular Soviet-Union themed East Village gay bar, to dance, drink, and party. If it were nighttime, nobody passing by would have batted an eye. But outside the bar the mid-day summer sun was drilling through layers of SPF-30 on skin all over the city. Director Ira Sachs had picked this day to film a pivotal moment in Keep The Lights On in which the characters played by Thure Lindhardt and Miguel Del Toro first meet in a crowded bar. Extras casting coordinator Jason Klorfein had been working for months to ensure that the place was packed with an authentic group of bar patrons, and when the day finally came it was a roaring success. Keep The Lights On‘s videographer Onur Karoaglu captured the behind-the-scenes action amongst the extras and other crew in this terrific video.